Society for Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty annual workshop

13–15 November 2017

Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad Street, Oxford

Download a pdf version of the programme (1.6 MB)

This event will have a focus on the practical application of DMDU methodologies, and details of the workshop programme have now been released.

The workshop will be preceded by a training day on DMDU methodologies on 13 November 2017. Dinner on the evening of 14 November will be held in Oxford’s historic Museum of Natural History.

DMDU 2017 workshop theme: dealing with deep uncertainty in decision making across multiple scales

This year’s workshop will tackle the challenges of decision making at many different scales from the perspective of deep uncertainty. The theme of multiple scales embraces spatial scales, temporal scales and the governance issues that they create.

Challenges for decision making under deep uncertainty can arise from the interaction between spatial scales including:

  • Global: including issues of climate change mitigation, resource exploitation, finance and security
  • National: including macro-economics, infrastructure investment, innovation, social policy and civil protection
  • Regional and catchment scale: including water resources management and regional economic development
  • City-scale: including adaptation to climate change, local energy systems, and transportation and mobility.

Challenges for decision making under deep uncertainty can also arise from interaction between temporal scales including:

  • Short-term and real-time problems, where information is scarce and time for decision making is constrained.
  • Longer-term policy, planning and investment problems, whose success is contingent upon future changes that are very hard to predict.

DMDU Society international training day

13 November 2017, Oxford

This training session will provide guidance for those who wish to apply DMDU tools to the analytical problems they face. But just as importantly, the agenda also seeks to help people working with the output of DMDU tools, so that they might derive better understanding and value in applying these results.

For people attending both the training day and the workshop, the training will support their more engaged workshop participation.

For participants who will not be attending the subsequent workshop, it will provide an overview of the developing DMDU field with exposure to core concepts, current discourse and leading tools and applications.

The workshop will give equal weight to overview presentations, hands-on demonstrations and plenary discussion among the participants and with leading DMDU practitioners.

Lunch and tea/coffee provided.

09:30 DMDU and overview of the day
“Who are we?” stand-up introduction exercise
10:00 Interactive exercise:
“What is deep uncertainty and what does it mean in practice?”
11:00 Break
11:15 Generalised framework for DMDU methods:
A guide for the rest of the day
12:15 Lunch
13:15 Introductory demos and applications (pdf, 1.6 MB)
15:45 Break
16:00 Substantive overview:
Decision-making under Deep Uncertainty: From Theory to Practice (Springer Verlag, forthcoming)
16:30 Plenary panel and Q&A
What is in the DMDU analyst’s tool kit?

Workshop programme

Workshop day 1: 14 November 2017

09:30 Welcome & introduction
Jim Hall, University of Oxford
Robert Lempert, Director, RAND Corporation & Jan Kwakkel, Delft University
09:40 Global scale keynote address:

  • Informing policy decision making with Foresight methodologies
    Claire Craig, Director of Science Policy, Royal Society
10:10 Panel discussion including:

  • Jerry Ravetz, Associate Fellow, James Martin Institute for Science & Civilisation, University of Oxford
  • Angela Wilkinson, Senior Director, Scenarios & Insights, World Energy Council
  • Klaus Keller, Professor of Geosciences, Penn State University
  • Warren Walker, Professor of Policy Analysis, Delft University of Technology
10:40 Coffee
11:10 Problem-solving parallel interactive sessions
  • National defence & security
    Jim Maltby, Defence & Security Analysis Division, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) – Plenary Room

The purpose of this session is to seek  new ways of addressing difficult defence and security problems,  characterised by deep uncertainty, by engaging relevant academics/academic networks, industry and allies. We intend to do this though gaining insights that can shape our own internal work, joint/collaborative working with external partners, supporting UK Research Council applications and direct funding of external exploratory work. We are interested in:

  • identifying and exploiting emerging tools & techniques or existing tools & techniques already used in other applications
  • influencing the direction of research into new tools & techniques
  • Water, floods and coastal adaptation
    Judy Lawrence, Senior Research Fellow, Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington – Breakout room (limited to 45 participants)

The purpose of this session is to share lessons about the real-life application of tools for decision making under deep uncertainty and implementation of those decisions as the conditions change over time.

The session will focus on the practical application of DMDU methodologies and implementation issues such as monitoring. It will present 3-4 practice examples and provide an interactive session for participants to discuss issues around the use of DMDU tools in real life decision settings and the implementation issues that arise following decisions being made

12:30 Lunch and posters – there are two venues for lunch and posters, the Oxford Martin School and nearby Hertford College
14:00 Perspectives from national and regional scales:

  • Long-term planning in Small Islands Developing States under a changing climate
    Julie Rozenberg, Economist, World Bank Sustainable Development Group
14:30 Perspectives from national and regional scales (continued):

  • Integrated systems method – identification of policy options for a complex wicked problem
    Leena Ilmola Sheppard, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, (IIASA), Futures Committee of the Finnish Parliament
15:00 Break
15:30 Problem-solving session:

  • DMDU in emergency and real time situations Tina Comes, Delft University of Technology & University of Agder
    Bartel Van de Walle, Delft University of Technology
16:30 Tools and models demonstration showcase – five-minute presentations to introduce six tools

  • E-rise
    Dr Ivan Haigh, University of Southampton
  • Pumping Station Simulation & Testing (PSST) model
    Jos Timmermans, TU Delft
  • Designing a signal system for timely adaptation
    Dr Marjolijn Haasnoot, Deltares
  • Criticality and vulnerability assessment of the multi-modal transport network of Bangladesh
    Dr ir Jan Kwakkel, Delft University
  • Rhodium – an open source Python library for robust decision-making
    Dr Julianne Quinn, Cornell University
  • NISMOD-INT Platform
    Dr Scott Thacker, UNOPS
17:45 Close of workshop day 1
18:30–20:30 Reception and buffet dinner at the Oxford Museum of Natural History

Workshop day 2: 15 November 2017

09:30 City-scale keynote address:

  • Engineering options analysis for infrastructure decision-making Richard de Neufville, Prof of Engineering Systems, MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
10:00 Panel discussion including:

  • Felix Creutzig, Head, Land Use, Infrastructures & Transport, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change
  • Alex Harvey, Climate and Environment Adviser, UK Department for International Development (DFID), Africa Regional Department
  • Alex Nickson, Thames Water
  • Tim Reeder, Independent consultant, formerly of the UK’s Environment Agency
10:20 Problem-solving session – city scale

  • Sadie McEvoy, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, TU Delft
  • Taneha Kuzniecow-Bacchin, Delft University of Technology
11:20 Coffee
11:40 Parallel sessions
Global and regional scales

  • A large ensemble framework for consequence driven discovery of climate change scenarios
    Jonathan Lamontagne, Tufts University
  • Uncertainty in epidemiological models of the Ebola epidemic
    Scott Janzwood, University of Waterloo
  • Comparative pathways for regional energy transition under deep uncertainty
    Mark Hughes, University of Pensylvania
  • Water abstraction agent-based model
    Henry Leveson-Gower, Defra
National and city scales

  • Local interpretation of the shared socioeconomic pathways
    Jude Herijadi Kurniawan, University of Waterloo. Talk given by Vanessa Schweizer
  • Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100: A challenge in meeting the uncertainties of long-term planning
    Giasuddin Choudhury, BDP2100 Bangladesh
  • Certain to deeply uncertain: a decision-making teaser
    Judy Lawrence, Victoria University of Wellington
Local and individual scales

  • Configurational conditions that enable public sector organizations to take forward-looking decisions: An fs QCA analysis of municipal investment decisions in the Netherlands
    Pot Wieke, University of Wageningen
  • Forest management under deep uncertainty – decision support vs. decision-making
    Roderich von Detten, University of Freiburg
  • Minimising information needs: how does decision making under deep uncertainty do it?
    Joseph Guillaume, Aalto University
  • Does robust decision making mirror thinking under uncertainty: how psychology may help us understand the validity of DMDU approaches?
    Jim Maltby, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
13:20 Lunch and posters – there are two venues for lunch and posters, the Oxford Martin School and nearby Hertford College
14:45 Feedback from parallel sessions
15:15 Insights from the cutting edge of DMDU

  • Role of scenarios in decision support under deep uncertainty: psychological evidence and anthropological possibilities
    Robert Lempert, Director, RAND Corporation
    Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy & the Future Human Condition and Sara Turner, Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Transcending uncertainty
    Gwythian Prins, London School of Economics
  • Morality, uncertainty and policy
    Yakov ben Haim, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technion

Questions & discussion

16:45 Reflections on workshop and plans for 2018
Jim Hall, University of Oxford
Robert Lempert, Director, RAND Corporation & Dr ir Jan Kwakkel, Delft University
17:15 Workshop close